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Minority voters in U.S. flocking to polls to have voices better heard

(Xinhua)    08:39, October 28, 2020

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Minority voters in the United States have been working toward a higher turnout rate in this year's presidential election against the backdrop that many of them have experienced additional injustice and burden since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020.

Asian Americans' low turnout rate in the past mainly resulted from insufficient awareness of civil rights, language barrier and other social factors due to their identity of being the descendants of immigrants, according to John Chan, chairman of the Asian American Community Empowerment and convener of the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights.

Chan told Xinhua that his organization has been publicizing information on the presidential election.

Chan unveiled an office in Flushing of Queens borough in New York City on Sunday so as to better help the local community as well as visitors coming from other areas nearby.

"It's important for everybody to show their support for America and our right to vote and to let our voices be heard," said Franc Lowe, a frontline physician combating the pandemic in New York City.

Lowe, a third-generation immigrant, said he has made up his mind whom he will vote for.

"We need appropriate open immigration. We need the plurality and diversity of our society, and we need, as all of humanity, to help the world, to help everyone," Lowe said.

Pamela Carlton, who works as a consultant in New York, told Xinhua that "if we want a fair society, we have to participate in it in every way. And voting is one of the most important ways to do so."

Leadership really does matter, as it is important to start at the top to "help bring our country together," said Carlton, 66, whose ancestors were brought to the country through the slave trade.

"We need to have a uniter (rather) than a divider because American is composed of different groups," said Edwin Josue, a real estate broker from New York City, who chose to vote early.

The Black Lives Matter movement is one form of expression against racial injustice, said Josue, a Filipino-American living in New York for more than three decades. "All lives matter in America."

Josue said he hopes the new administration will actually bring back unity and be able to at least contain the novel coronavirus.

"I'm very concerned for the immigrant communities in our country," said Grace, a teacher and descendant of immigrants, who was born and raised in New York City.

"I am also interested in education and to see that education is free, open and welcoming to all," said Grace.

"My grandparents on my father's side are immigrants from Italy and my grandparents on my mother's side are immigrants from Japan. So through my family, I know about the struggles," Grace said.

"I also teach in a school that is all immigrant students. So I'm very aware of the issues for them and their families," she added.

For Carlton, continued strengthening of the economy in fairness and across all sectors of the population, racial justice, health justice, and educational justice are among the major issues that need to be addressed in the country.

Deeming it critical to handle the pandemic in an appropriate way, she said it is painful to see so many people especially frontline workers, industries and businesses in the United States have been severely impacted by the calamity.

Lowe, who has been on the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, said it's a disgrace that there was a lack of protective equipment at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in New York.

"All we can say is the lack of government leadership has made the situation worse," said Lowe, while stressing the need to follow scientists' recommendations, wear masks, keep social distance, avoid indoor contacts and continue to work for providing a vaccine and therapeutics for the virus.

Lowe hopes for getting back to a more realistic approach to how society can survive.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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